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learnedly read, too; in part, of intellectual rigor
|Posted Sunday, December 7, 2008
Ex-executive, with a very sick wife, may soon be subject to
the humiliation of homelessness
NEW YORK (CNN) -- Paul Nawrocki says he's beyond the point where he cares about
humiliation. Paul Nowracki, jobless since February, stands on New York corners
with a sign announcing his job search.
That's why he weekly takes a 90-minute train ride to New York, where he walks
the streets wearing a sandwich board that advertises his plight: The former
toy-industry executive needs a job.
|Wearing 'almost homeless' sign, ex-executive, Paul Nawrocki, seeks
"Almost homeless," reads the sign. "Looking for employment. Very experienced
operations and administration manager."
Wearing a suit and tie under the sign, Nawrocki -- who was in the toy industry
36 years before being laid off in February -- stands on Manhattan corners for
hours, hoping to pass resumes to interested passers-by.
When you're out of work and you face having nothing -- I mean, having no income
-- pride doesn't mean anything," Nawrocki said. "You need to find work. I have
to take care of my family."
People look but don't often stop. A woman in the jewelry business paused as
Nawrocki stood with his sign outside Grand Central Station recently.
"I feel sorry for him. I wish I could help him," she said. "I'll pray for him.
I'll give him a prayer card." Don't Miss CNN/Money: Job picture could get even
worse Commentary: Jobs going begging in some fields.
Nawrocki will take the prayers. His wife is partially disabled and on 15
medications, his daughter has student loans, and he's running out of money, he
He tried more traditional approaches at looking for work, but nothing came
through. His daughter eventually suggested handing out résumés on the street.
"We started talking, and she actually came up with the suggestion of putting on
the sign board. I thought, 'That's not a bad idea.' So, here I am," he said.
Watch Nawrocki explain why he's using the sign »
Getting the right person's attention is tough. Competing with him for the eyes
of passers-by are charity groups and homeless people seeking donations.
But there was one hopeful moment as CNN was interviewing him. A man identifying
himself as the head of a New York executive recruiting firm took one of
Nawrocki's résumés. The man, Steve Warren, was asked whether employers are
looking for people with Nawrocki's expertise.
"It's very difficult," Warren said. "The operations pieces are all exported to
overseas, and the problem that we face is, guys like Mr. Nawrocki have a problem
finding work here."
Warren was asked whether someone could find a job using Nawrocki's
"Well, I found his résumé here, so I'm going to try to find him [something]," he
Nawrocki has plenty of competition. The U.S. government said 533,000 jobs in the
country were lost in November, and more than 1.9 million jobs have been lost in
But he retains hope that he and his sign will attract the right opportunity.
"There has got to be a job out there, and hopefully there's one for me," he
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